Friday, 26 February 2016

"Don't You Know You Can't Go Home Again?" - Ella Winter

Coming back to my childhood village has to be one of the hardest things I have to do as an adult. I made a choice a long time ago to get out, and only come back if necessary. Since this is where the members of my family that I'm closest to live, necessity became more often than I'd like. I should clarify that anything more than once a year is more often than I'd like. They don't understand the effect it has on me, hell, I'm not even sure I understand the effect it has on me, but the whole time I'm here it feels like I can't breathe.

There's such an oppressive atmosphere over the whole place. A secretive, judgemental domination that renders me twelve years old again. Unable to speak out, unable to cope, unable to save them, or myself. In this place, you're supposed to pretend you don't see the abuse or the neglect. You hear her scream through the paper-thin walls as he pushes her down the stairs, you hear them cry until they wretch calling for their mother to get up. You hear him spit vile words at them all but you're not allowed to call the police. You're not allowed to get involved. Don't get involved.

Riots over Christmas. Vigilante justice. Adults beating children and animals in the name of 'discipline'. Children beating other children in a gross perpetuation. They ravage anything different, anything outside. There's no hope in this place, like there is no sun. No life can flourish in this pit, you have to climb out to feel the warmth of life. I always knew it wasn't right. I always tried to save them, my friends, the neglected children I raised, and the many animals. I was just a child. I was so helpless, but I still tried. Every adult I told would chant the same motto, as if it was the creed of their cult - "Don't get involved!"

It's painful for me to be here.